On average, a person burns about 350-500 calories in a 7-hour sleep. Since you will most likely be hitting the sheets after the late-night bite, choose lower-calorie, yet satisfying foods that may help you sleep even better. Additionally, you want to eat slower digesting foods to keep your body in an “anabolic state” as opposed to a “catabolic state.” While in an anabolic state, your metabolism keeps a constant pace. When it slows down, a catabolic state causes muscle loss and fat accumulation to occur.
Before bed, eat fat. Yeah I said it – the F word. Fat is essential for slowing down digestion while we sleep to prevent sugars from storing as bad fat. The best choices are nuts, seeds, natural nut butters, olive oil, canola oil, and fish oil.
Secondly, pick a protein. Most proteins contain the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to serotonin, which regulates the sleep cycle and brings feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. Try nutrient-packed proteins such as low-fat cottage cheese, light cheeses, milk, Greek yogurt, lean beef, salmon, shrimp, chicken, tuna, and turkey.
Being nutritiously- mindful after midnight may seem nearly impossible. Regardless of which Boston neighborhood you are stumbling through with a growling belly at 2AM, the following restaurants serve healthy options until 1AM or later.
After a late Sox game, head into Kenmore Square’s Eastern Standard for the mouth-watering, moules provencal (mussels, tomato, fennel, white wine). Detour the pizza joint and stroll into the North End’s, 24-hr Bova’s Bakery to order the Turkey roll up with veggies and Swiss cheese. Avoid McDonald’s in Faneuil Hall and step into Red Sky to gobble their Turkey Tips (turkey tips, rice, grilled veggies).
Have a grease craving from after-work cocktails? Stumble into the Leather District’s 24-hr South Street Diner for a veggie egg white omelet with Swiss cheese and dry wheat toast. My last scrumptious suggestion can be found inside The Parish Café. With two convenient locations in the South End and Back Bay, you can’t go wrong by ordering their Regal Regis Sandwich (sliced flank steak and Portobello mushrooms in a soy, scallion and balsamic marinade, served on Romano cheese crusted French bread).
Choosing a semi-healthy order at 2AM is not impossible. Pick your protein, go light with the fat, add some veggies, and you will have no regrets in the morning!